Cornbread for Maeve

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Yesterday afternoon I got an email from my niece Maeve who was looking for a recipe for cornbread. I realized that I had no recipe to offer, I’m ashamed to say, because I always just make it from a box. Jiffy. It’s unlike me, I know. But Jiffy cornbread is really good. It’s because there’s lard in that little blue box. Also it costs about 39 cents. Also there’s something about that circa 1934 packaging that I find irresistible.*

Anyway, I felt ashamed to realize that I had never, ever made cornbread from scratch. So I made some tonight, and actually Jiffy mix really isn’t so great after all. This cornbread is pleasantly crumbly, barely sweet, moist in the middle and crunchy around the edges.

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  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 1/2 cups corn meal (I used a mixture of about 2 parts fine ground to 1 part coarse ground)
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 stick of butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon of butter (for the pan)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Whisk the yogurt into the milk and set aside. Put a tablespoon of butter in a 9 or 10 inch cast iron skillet and place it in the oven. Stir together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar. Whisk the eggs into the milk mixture. Add the milk mixture to the cornmeal mixture and stir just until combined. Stir in the melted butter. Take the skillet out of the oven and swirl the butter around in the pan so the whole thing is coated. Now pour in the batter and give the pan a shake to even it out. Bake for about 20 minutes, until the edges are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

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*I like Jiffy mix even more now that I just learned from Wikipedia that the Jiffy company is run by a race car driver named Howdy Holmes.

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